Going against the safety guidelines of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) could cause inaccurate test reports and unsafe jewelry to be sold in California.

LOS ANGELES, CA, May 22, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — Children, primarily in low income communities, could suffer from serious health problems from lead and cadmium in “cheap” jewelry due to SB647 (Mitchell). The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is requesting the purchase of XRF units to enforce SB647, an amendment to the Metal Containing Jewelry Law. Electroplating makes “cheap” jewelry look expensive and by relying only on XRF, inaccurate results could cause toxic jewelry to be sold. According to the CPSC and ASTM, XRF is “…not suitable for testing electroplated metal alloys.”

Intertek, a CPSC certified lab said, “The CPSC does not accept this type of testing (for electroplated metal jewelry). However, XRF can be done for a screening which is used for Informational Purposes only.”

The CPSC states “XRF detectors have limited depth of penetration so, for certain applications such as children’s metal jewelry, it is possible for the surface coating to mask the presence of potentially hazardous leaded base metal underneath.”

According to Bureau Veritas, a CPSC certified lab, “XRF has technical limitation for some typical metal base, lab always using wet chemical method (ICP machine) to get final results.”

To avoid false test reports and obtain accurate results, the DTSC must follow all the guidelines of the CPSC and obtain ICP machines to ensure accurate results as recommended by the CPSC. If only XRF testing was relied upon in this recent test shown below, Necklace A would have been allowed to be sold, endangering lives and Necklace B would have caused a false allegation.

Necklace A Lobster Claw: XRF less than 10 ppm PASS and ICP Machine 683 ppm FAIL
XFR results show safe to sell, but ICP documents FAIL – XRF would allow unsafe product for sale

Necklace B Medallion: XRF 182,209 ppm FAIL and ICP Machine less than 10 ppm PASS
XFR results show unsafe to sell, but ICP documents SAFE – XRF cause potential false allegation

Note: passing result for Cadmium is 300ppm

In addition, SB647 goes against the CPSC safety guidelines and includes outdated EPA methods 3050b, 3051a and 3052 (Section 25214.4(a)), designed to test for soil and NOT jewelry, which cannot guarantee accurate results, and could cause unsafe products to be sold. In 2006, a 4 year old boy with microcephaly died after swallowing jewelry tested using EPA 3050 and the CDC noted huge variations in testing jewelry when this EPA method was used. EPA test methods must be removed from SB647 to protect the children.

The safety of jewelry can only be trusted when the guidelines of the CPSC are followed. Unless updated, SB647 could expose thousands of children to toxic levels of lead and cadmium due to false test results and inaccurate enforcement, allowing unsafe products to be sold.

Citizens for Safe Consumer Products is an organization founded to ensure that every consumer product is safe.

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